Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


Jason Roebke Octet: Cinema Spiral

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
The widely acclaimed collaborative nature of the contemporary Chicago jazz scene is expertly demonstrated on Cinema Spiral, the sophomore effort by double bassist Jason Roebke's all-star Octet, which continues the creative in-roads made on the unit's celebrated 2014 Delmark Records debut, High/Red/Center.

Starring eight of the Windy City's most intrepid improvisers, the ensemble features the muscular frontline of cornetist Josh Berman, trombonist Jeb Bishop, alto saxophonist Greg Ward, tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson, and bass clarinetist Jason Stein. Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, who adds distinctive color to the proceedings, joins Roebke and drummer Mike Reed as part of the responsive rhythm section.

In addition to his sidemen's myriad connections, Roebke has played with each member of the Octet in a number of different configurations, including Adasiewicz's Rolldown, Berman's trio, Bishop's trio, Jackson's quartet, Reed's People Places & Things, Stein's Locksmith Isidore, and Ward's 10 Tongues, among others. Testing his band's cooperative sensibility and improvisational mettle, Roebke pens deceptively simple but tightly arranged charts with ample room allotted for unpredictable spontaneous detours.

The continuous seven-part opus features a series of recurring motifs—similar to film score cues—that appear at regular intervals throughout the set. Caterwauling polyphony and passages of aleatoric impressionism establish the album's avant-garde tone, though Roebke's writing is more Technicolor than black & white. The serene ballad "For a Moment" stands in stark contrast to the cacophonous collectivism of "People Laughing," while harmonious swing materializes on the grooving number "Waiting," and the ebullient 6/8 sway of the closer "L'acmé."

The late 1960s Blue Note recordings of luminaries like Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson and Jackie McLean have had a noticeable influence on Chicago's current generation of musicians—Roebke included. But Roebke has managed to incorporate the angular melodies and lockstep rhythms of those seminal classics into his own writing far more organically than most. Aided by the stellar contributions of his bandmates, Cinema Spiral offers a keen summary of Roebke's burgeoning talents as a bassist, composer, and bandleader of note.

Track Listing: Looking directly into the camera; Focusing; For a Moment; Getting High; People Laughing; Waiting; L'acmé

Personnel: Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Keefe Jackson: tenor, sopranino saxophones, contrabass clarinet; Jason Stein: bass clarinet; Josh Berman: trumpet; Jeb Bishop: trombone; Jason Adasiewicz: vibes; Jason Roebke: bass; Mike Reed: drums.

Title: Cinema Spiral | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "That's What She Said..." CD/LP/Track Review That's What She Said...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "My Love" CD/LP/Track Review My Love
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Town And Country" CD/LP/Track Review Town And Country
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "E.S.T. Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 26, 2017
Read "Morphometry" CD/LP/Track Review Morphometry
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Right Up On" CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 12, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!